Michael Bisping believes that Conor McGregor will be watching the UFC 242 main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier with vested interest. McGregor has shared the Octagon with both men in the past, defeating Poirier in 2014 and losing to Nurmagomedov in his most recent bout last year at UFC 229. Bisping believes that McGregor will be cheering particularly hard for one of these two men, as this outcome would give McGregor an easier path back to championship gold (Transcript via BJPenn.com):
“He’s probably hoping and praying that Poirier beats Khabib in Abu Dhabi,” Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast. “If Poirier beats Khabib, obviously we all know Conor has that massive win over Poirier. He did it very, very easily. He made short work of Poirier back in the day. Alright, it was back in the day, it was at [145 pounds], but even still, if Poirier wins, there’s a possibility of setting up that rematch. That’s his shot — and easier shot at the title.”
On the flip side, if Nurmagomedov defeats Poirier, Bisping believes McGregor will continue to wait on the sideline or be forced to get back to work to earn another title shot:
“I don’t think he gets that fight,” Bisping said of a rematch against Nurmagomedov. “The Poirier fight, definitely, I can see them doing that.
“From the UFC’s perspective, they’re going to do it [the rematch with Nurmagomedov]. [The first fight] was the biggest pay-per-view ever, the rematch is going to be even bigger. Rematches sell, especially with the amount of bad blood, especially with what happened after the fight outside the Octagon. The rematch is going to be huge. I just think Conor has to win another fight first.”
Do you agree with Michael Bisping? Will Conor McGregor benefit more from a Dustin Poirier victory at UFC 242?